Knowledge and Understanding

All education sectors are familiar with the expectation that the acquisition of knowledge is fundamental to any learning experience and for understanding to follow from that.

We might assume that knowledge once learned informs understanding, which can be acquired experientially, or through a combination of taught knowledge and acquired understanding.

These two concepts are therefore linked, but in art, craft and design, educators might reflect on how well the teaching of knowledge results in depth and breadth of understanding. Knowledge can be both remembered and applied through the growth of skills and in the development of creative products and outcomes.  

Subject research highlights the importance of providing students with a solid foundation of conceptual knowledge, including art history, cultural heritage, practical and material knowledge and the underlying theoretical concepts.

This knowledge enables students to develop an appreciation for different art forms and styles, to understand the role of art in history, culture and society, and to use all this to inform their technical skills and creative outcomes.

Understanding, therefore, refers to the ability to interpret, discuss and analyse art, craft, and design so this learning can be applied.

This is evidenced by students thinking critically about the meaning and purpose of the artwork they study and create, informed by an appreciation of the skill and creativity involved in the artistic process

In conclusion, UK art and design curricula aim to equip students with both the practical and theoretical knowledge, skills, and understanding of different art and design forms. The curricula should also offer opportunities to practise various approaches to art and design, and in so doing gain further understanding of the conceptual, technical and critical theories.

Knowledge and understanding informs the development and control of:  

  • Art elements
  • Scale
  • Composition
  • Perspective
  • Dynamics
  • Physical, analytical, expressive and descriptive qualities

They inform the selection/choice of:

  • Tools
  • Media
  • Equipment
  • Materials
  • Techniques
  • Processes. 

Knowledge & understanding should be used to inform the analysis and response to works of art and design, media and cultural understanding. 

cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram